25 August 2008

A gastric balloon is ideal for patients who have tried many alternative ways to lose weight, but would prefer to avoid surgery.

Many people have tried a wide variety of diets and weight-loss programmes without success, but are not willing to consider a surgical intervention. If you are one of these people, you are probably feeling trapped. If yourself in this position, the gastric balloon may be a safe and effective option for you.

There are three groups of patients who may benefit from the BIB.

1.) BMI 28-30 Kg/m2
If your BMI is only 28-30kg/m2 you are not suitable for surgical treatment with a gastric band or bypass. However Gastric Balloon implant may be an excellent alternative. In practical terms it lies midway between a conventional weight-loss programme and a true surgical intervention. It is clearly something more than a diet, but at the same time it falls well short of being a surgical procedure. It facilitates rapid weight loss safely and effectively, without the risk of general anaesthesia.

2.) BMI greater than 30kg/m2
If you have a BMI above 30 kg/m2 and you have decided against the usual surgical options for which you may be eligible (gastric band, bypass etc), the Gastric Balloon may be an acceptable and effective alternative. So if you definitely don’t want surgery but have reached the point where standard approaches to weight loss just don’t work, a gastric balloon might be the next step.

3.) BMI greater than 50kg/m2 and/or co-morbidities
If you have a major weight problem with a BMI above 50 kg/m2 and/or medical problems such as diabetes, heart and lung problems etc, you may not be suitable for standard weight-loss surgical procedures which involve general anaesthesia. In this case a Gastric Balloon may be a safe and effective first option. Losing weight with the gastric balloon will improve your physical functioning and reduce your anaesthetic risks, so that if you do then decide to go ahead and have a gastric band or a gastric bypass, the operative risks will be much less.

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